Competition - NRL
Round - 20
Teams – Raiders V Warriors
Date –  23rd of July 2016
Venue – GIO Stadium
Photographer – Cox
Description –

Five Key Stats

Games | 24 (13 for the Raiders)
Running Metres | 2,750*
Tackles | 462*
Post-contact Metres | 923*
Offloads | 43*

*Stats include Parramatta Eels games. 

Best Match of the Season

Semi-Final | Raiders 22 defeated Panthers 12

Paulo was a beast for the Raiders in the semi-final win over the Panthers, running for 132 metres, making 23 tackles and offloading four times. Watch some of his huge hit-ups in the video above. 

Summary

The Raiders forward pack received a huge boost midway through the year when Junior Paulo was released early from his Parramatta Eels contract to move to Canberra. 

Originally scheduled to join the Raiders on a two-year contract from 2017, circumstances paved the way for Paulo to link up with the green machine earlier than expected. 

The monster prop wasted no time introducing himself to the Raiders faithful in his club debut against Manly in Round 13, producing a brutal hit-up on Jamie Buhrer that sent shock waves around GIO Stadium. 

Weighing in at 123 kilograms, Paulo quickly fitted into the Raiders line-up and formed an intimidating front row partnership with fellow big bopper Shannon Boyd. 

Paulo played for more than 40 minutes in all bar one game for the Raiders, with a season high 62 minutes coming against the Sharks in Round 22. 

A minor lower back issue forced Paulo to miss two matches for the Raiders late in the season, returning for the qualifying final against the Sharks - his first ever finals appearance. 

Paulo represented Samoa twice in 2016, and was also selected in the Kangaroos train-on squad.

Already one of the most damaging forwards in the NRL, and with a big pre-season looming, it's a scary thought for opposition sides that Paulo is capable of taking his game to another level in 2017.